Two weeks ago, the National Research Council released its Framework for K-12 Science Education. The nonprofit organization, Achieve, will use the framework to draft new science standards that would serve as a model for states. While we haven’t reviewed the final framework closely, we found the draft framework, released over a year ago, to be overly broad and without key specifics.
Yesterday, Ze’ev Wurmam, a technology expert and former Department of Education advisor, offered an in-depth review of the 280-page framework. While Wurman welcomed the release of a science framework and its inclusion of engineering, he had much to criticize.
“This framework does not expect our students to be able to do any science, or to be able to solve any science problem. This framework simply teaches our students science appreciation, rather than science. It expects our students to become good consumers of science and technology, rather than prepare them to be the discoverers of science and creators of technology.”
According to Wurman, the framework all-but removes analytical mathematics—essential knowledge for future scientists and engineers—from the study of science. He writes:
“Before Lavoisier’s quantitative approach there was no chemistry, only Alchemy. Before Newton’s invention of calculus, physics was more a craft than a science. Mathematics has been inseparable from science for the last 300 years, and has been largely responsible for the world we live in. Yet here we have a ’21st century’ science framework for our students that effectively ignores mathematics.”
Wurman found only one equation in the entire framework. Read more, here.